Slow cooker creamy lemon spinach chicken is a must-make recipe. This dish, made with tangy lemon juice, garlic, and parmesan cheese will please the senses and elevate any meal. Delicious with breast or thigh meat!
Crock Pot chicken recipes are awesome but can sometimes be tricky to make. But, if you aren’t careful, you can, very easily, overcook chicken in a slow cooker. Overcooked chicken will get dry and rubbery.
Luckily, there are some easy steps to take to help avoid this from occurring:
- Use a meat thermometer. Chicken is safe to eat once it hits an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- Cook thigh meat. Crockpot chicken thighs can cook for longer without drying out.
- Shred chicken. Skinless chicken breasts are delicious and economical. They play a starring role in many delicious recipes. But they do dry out the fastest. In many cases, shredding and mixing chicken breast with a creamy sauce (like this one) can save the day.
This dish is made with simple ingredients and the lemon flavor is delicious with either thighs or breasts. My preference is to cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces prior to cooking. But if you prefer to shred them, there is no need to cut first.
📝Shopping listJump to Recipe card for exact quantities
To make this crock pot creamy lemon chicken you will need:
- Chicken - boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- Chicken broth
- Heavy whipping cream - or coconut milk
- Parmesan Cheese - grated
- Garlic - minced
- Salt and pepper
Place chicken thighs (or breasts) on the bottom of the pot. Add salt, pepper, and paprika and toss to coat.
Next, add in garlic, thyme, chicken broth. the juice of your two lemons, and butter.
Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours - until chicken pieces reach an internal temperature of 165ºF. 30 minutes prior to serving, add parmesan cheese, heavy cream, and spinach to slow cooker.
Note: if you want your spinach to stay a brighter green, mix it in with chicken just a few minutes before serving.
The sauce for this dish is not super thick. If you would like to thicken it a bit more, you can add additional parmesan cheese to your slow cooker.
This is one of those easy recipes that produces plenty of tasty sauce. It is therefore perfect when paired with a vegetable or starch that can soak up all of that deliciousness! It is particularly wonderful over mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, rice, or cauliflower rice. A fresh, crusty loaf of bread is also a great side that will please the entire family.
The warm and creamy lemon sauce is great when balanced with a cool crisp salad. Zucchini noodles or pasta noodles make great pairing choices as well. Green beans or steamed broccoli also make great go-withs.
Leftovers of this creamy lemon chicken recipe store really well in either the refrigerator or freezer. I like to store leftovers in meal-sized, airtight containers. This is an easy way to have an amazing dinner ready to go at a moment's notice. This delicious family meal will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
While it can also be frozen, this dish may separate a bit during defrosting and reheating. This is not a problem, just be sure to mix well at the time of reheating.
😉Hints & hacks
- If you are looking to add some extra flavor to your slow cooker creamy lemon spinach chicken, stir in some red pepper flakes and top with grated lemon zest.
- This is one of those slow cooker recipes that can be a bit messy. Spraying your slow cooker with a non-stick cooking spray before cooking OR using a slow cooker liner (my preference) is helpful.
- This delicious lemon garlic chicken is low carb.
- Since my whole family prefers chicken breast (over thighs) , a slow cooker with a built-in thermometer is really helpful. It helps to ensure we have moist and tender chicken chunks.
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Slow Cooker Creamy Lemon Spinach Chicken Recipe
- Knife and cutting board
- 1.5 - 2 lbs chicken cut into bite sized pieces. works with breasts or thighs
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 lemons juiced. or about 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon thyme dried
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground is best
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups baby spincah
- add chicken to slow cooker, sprinkle with seasonings and toss to coat1.5 - 2 lbs chicken, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- add butter, broth, garlic and lemon juice1 cup chicken broth, 2 lemons, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 3 tablespoon butter
- cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. You are ready for the next step when your chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F
- about 30 minutes prior to serving, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. NOTE: If you add spinach at this time, it will fully wilt. To keep it a brighter green, as shown in the photo above, you can add it just a few minutes before serving.¾ cup grated parmesan cheese, ½ cup heavy whipping cream, 2 cups baby spincah
- serve over rice, pasta, riced cauliflower or something else to absorb the sauce and enjoy!
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Claire D says
Toward the end of the recipe before you add the cream, spinach and cheese, it says 30-45 minutes before serving to add it. It is confusing. Do you put those ingredients in and then cook for another 30-45 minutes or just put them in, stir, and then it's done??? I would think that's too long, especially for the spinach. Thank you in advance for your reply asap. I am making this tonight.
The Lazy Slow Cooker says
I just read the recipe over and you are right, it is confusing. I add the heavy whipping cream and parmesan about 30 minutes prior to serving to make sure the soup has enough time to heat fully back up. The spinach can be added then, but will fully wilt. If you want to keep your spinach a little brighter green, you can add it just a few minutes before serving.
Another little tip: You may want to temper your heavy whipping cream before adding it. You can do this by adding a little of the soup to the cream to bring up the temperature a bit before pouring it into the slow cooker. Although curdling isn't usually a problem with heavy whipping cream, I often do this just in case!
Thanks for pointing this out - I am going to update the recipe! Hope you love the chicken!
Claire D says
Thank you for your prompt response. I added the spinach at the end, after I shut it off and just left it for a few minutes. I actually added a lot more spinach then the recipe called for. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious. I served over brown rice.
The Lazy Slow Cooker says
So glad to hear that you enjoy it! Brown rice is perfect with this dish and - as far as I am concerned - the more spinach the better! Thanks for the feedback!